A message from the Chair

The Board of Inquiry’s report has now been delivered to the Governor.

This report, first and foremost, stands as a public record of the experiences of victim-survivors of child sexual abuse that transpired from the 1960s through to the 1970s, extending into the late 1990s in Beaumaris Primary School and certain other government schools.

Victim-survivors shared their experiences with the Board of Inquiry, including their experiences of the profound impact of this abuse. Victim-survivors told the Board of Inquiry how their sense of safety was shattered by their experience, particularly given that school is a place where children should be safe and protected.

These children, now adults, have had to fight to be seen, heard, and understood by government and the wider community. It was the advocacy of victim-survivors that led to the establishment of this Board of Inquiry.

In addition to establishing a public record of these experiences, the Inquiry also considered the response of the Department of Education at the time, uncovering serious failings which should not be repeated.

The Board also considered appropriate ways to support healing for victim-survivors, as well as the question of whether there are effective support services for adult victim-survivors of child sexual abuse in government schools.

The Board of Inquiry’s report makes findings and recommendations in relation to the matters it was required to consider and informed by all the information it has received, including the experiences shared with us by many victim-survivors and their loved ones.

While our Inquiry focused specifically on historical child sexual abuse linked to Beaumaris Primary School, it has been encouraging to see a broader discussion on the issue of child sexual abuse as a result of our efforts. This is so important. In the course of this Inquiry we have been told time and time again that there needs to be more open conversations about child sexual abuse in order to truly confront it.

We have also seen through this Inquiry the significant value of trauma-informed practices and the power that reflecting on the past with empathy and compassion can have in shaping a safer future for all.

I sincerely thank and acknowledge every person who has bravely shared their deeply personal experiences and contributed to our work.

This was not an easy thing to do, and it took great courage.

My hope is that your participation in this Inquiry has, even in some small way, contributed to your healing journey.

I acknowledge your experiences, but also the experiences of all victim-survivors of child sexual abuse, as well as their loved ones. While this report deals with the traumatic consequences of child sexual abuse, it also considers how those who are affected might heal, and how the broader community can support that healing process.

We hope that this report will bring about restoration and meaningful change.

Kathleen Foley SC
Chair, Board of Inquiry into historical child sexual abuse in Beaumaris Primary School and certain other government schools